Atheism For Atheism's Sake?

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Dough's picture
Atheism For Atheism's Sake?

To start this all off, I'd love to hear the response of an atheist to the assertion that atheism only exists because atheistic people do not want the kind of rules or moral guidelines that a belief in God tends to come with. This is a common assertion in many religious circles.

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Nordic Fox's picture
Everyone is born atheist,

Everyone is born atheist, religion is introduced later on. Personally, I'd argue that many people don't break rules because school, our parents, and the law system teaches us that harming other people are wrong.

Many (as much as 90%) of hardcore incarcerated prisoners are also devout Christians. So to claim that morals come from religion is mostly fallacy. There are plenty of examples in the bible of acts that were condoned by 'god' that were amoral or unethical.

I also truly hold true that morals are values that people would exhibit when they know nobody is watching, not behaviors they exhibit because they believe an invisible man is judging them.

A truly good person can be an atheist, and help people without expecting reward. I would call into question anyone's actions based on their expectation of an afterlife reward, or good actions performed only in fear of divine punishment otherwise.

As an atheist, I'm not atheist because I don't adhere to morals promoted by religion... I am an atheist because I don't accept explanations offered by any religious source or clergy-authority figure.

To quote Penn Jillette: "I rape, murder, and steal as much as I want as an atheist. And that amount is ZERO. I don't need a god to know that hurting other people is wrong, and that I shouldn't do those things."

Lastly, Christians that both quote the bible and promote 'morals' in the bible are promoting a stance of continuous oxymoron.

"Love thy neighbor" while at the same time, "You should never help your atheist neighbors... you should stone them" and "a man who lies with another man should be stoned."

So while atheists allow (even promote!) religious freedom, the bible promotes the killing of atheists simply for not believing? And gay men for simply being who they are? What is a part of 'loving thy neighbor' in that?

Nordic Fox's picture
There's also the making a

There's also the making a saint of Lot after he gave his daughters away to an angry mob to be raped, to allow two angels to escape.
What kind of moral is that? And what 'angels' would allow something like that to happen, without intervening? No morals there.

I've stopped fights, pulled a man from a burning car, and stood on the freeway to help keep people safe after crashes. And I never did that with any sort of pre-planned reward... In fact I never got anything for doing those things, but they were the right thing to do.

Travis Hedglin's picture
"I'd love to hear the

"I'd love to hear the response of an atheist to the assertion that atheism only exists because atheistic people do not want the kind of rules or moral guidelines that a belief in God tends to come with."

Well, there isn't a whole lot to respond to, considering the belief in god often doesn't appear to come with anything but a "get out of jail, free" card for the immoral and downright horrible. At least in atheism you are responsible for all of your own actions, absolution can't simply be handed to you for nothing but the asking. Religion has a hollow veneer of morality, but once one looks deeper, they realize that it is stripped away entirely by a total lack of real accountability by scapegoating. It is a system were you are better off killing and raping people than thinking the wrong way, and that should give anyone pause, if they begin to understand what morality actually is.

Truth is, many of us realized the problem of morality in religion long before we ever became atheists, so it was not difficult to abandon the religious morality of "anything goes as long as you repent". If anything, it actually helped us decide we were atheists, as we could not find any reasonable or grounded morality in either religion nor any of its most devout adherents. Before any religious person decides to go and discuss the moral issue with atheists, they should look to their own books and fellow believers, because it is hard to take them seriously with the hypocrisy they wear like a millstone around their own necks.

Some of those guidelines that come with a belief in god are utterly immoral and reprehensible, and could not be considered good nor moral in this, or any, universe. Their rules and morals are abominable, reprehensible, beliefs that often lead to true harm of others. They don't notice it from the pillar they put themselves upon, but nobody is buying their bullshit anymore, not even other "religious" people. We all recognize what a pile of bigoted, ignorant, immoral horseshit religious texts really are; and even they have to cherry-pick because they can't possibly defend it.

Nietzsche probably said it best:

"Custom(religious morality) represents the experiences of men of earlier times as to what they supposed useful and harmful - but the sense(dependence) for custom applies, not to these experiences as such, but to the age, the sanctity, the indiscussability of the custom. And so this feeling is a hindrance to the acquisition of new experiences and the correction of customs: that is to say, (this kind of) morality is a hindrance to the development of new and better customs: it makes stupid."

Nyarlathotep's picture
The notion implies that

The notion implies that atheists secretly know that god is real, and are just claiming to be atheists because they are bad/mad/whatever. It is rather insulting---in essence---it is implying that every atheist is lying about their atheism. This is actually a rather common belief, espoused by CS Lewis and many other before and after him. That essentially everyone on the planet knows god/Jesus and those who are not Christians are just 'acting up'. This includes all atheists, members of other religions, people who had have had 0 contact with Christianity/the bible, and even people who lived and died before the character of Jesus was supposedly born! This is what religion does to your brain; it turns it into a fuck sandwich.

It also goes back to the dirty underhanded tactic I've mentioned here before of: attempting to define your opponent out of existence.

Nordic Fox's picture
Excellent points,

Excellent points, Nyarlathotep, I hadn't considered pointing those out!

ThePragmatic's picture
"This is what religion does

"This is what religion does to your brain; it turns it into a fuck sandwich."


Jeff Vella Leone's picture
"the assertion that atheism

"the assertion that atheism only exists because atheistic people do not want the kind of rules or moral guidelines that a belief in God tends to come with."

Why don't you present some evidence to back up that assertion?
Since if you do try to find evidence you will eventually come to the conclusion that someone who disagrees with the majority of those "rules or moral guidelines" is actually an anti-theist, not an atheist.

An atheist simply lacks belief in the theistic god claim for whatever reason.
He might even agree with those "rules or moral guidelines" and still be an atheist that does not believe that those "rules or moral guidelines" come from a theistic god.

An anti theist on the other hand believes that most of those "rules or moral guidelines" do more harm then good.
"Love everybody like yourself"
Is asking the impossible of a person to make him feel unworthy.(that he can never be perfect)
This is an evil preachment that goes against how nature works, no good person would ask that of another human being, surly not a good omniscient god.

I love how Hitchens puts it:

"Created sick and demanded to be well."

Stu. K.'s picture
I remember when I was 14ish,

I remember when I was 14ish, and I believed in "God" but chose not to follow him and his ways because I found much, muchhhh, MUCHHHHHHHH wrong with what he is supposedly doing to this world, not because I didn't want to follow his "rules" (whatever the hell those are). Jolly good day matey :D

Kataclismic's picture
No no, the generalizations

No no, the generalizations you're making are about a specific class of people, most of whom don't have access to forums like this, called 'criminals'. You're just confused, but it's okay, most of us are.

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